Harper's Young People, November 4, 1879 - An Illustrated Weekly
Author: Various
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Tuesday, November 4, 1879. Copyright, 1879, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.

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The first beams of the morning sun were tipping with fire the jagged and icy peaks of the Wellhorn and Matterhorn, those gigantic monarchs of the Bernese Oberland, when a slender youth came out to the door of a small herdsman's cottage near Meyringen, and looked up at the sky to note the weather.

"We shall have a splendid day, father," said he, after glancing all around for a few minutes. "There isn't a cloud to be seen, and the fir-trees sparkle like silver in the morning air."

"I am glad to hear it, Walter," replied a powerful voice from inside the cottage, "for I must cross the hill to Grindelwald to-day to see my cousin. It is a long journey, and much pleasanter in fine weather than in rain and fog. You can let out the goats, and look after the cow, for we must milk them before I go."

"Oh, Liesli is not far off," was the rejoinder; "I see her coming along; she is passing Frieshardt's house now. She is a good cow, and always knows when it's milking-time. But what is that?" he exclaimed, after a short pause. "Frieshardt is driving her into his yard!—Hi, neighbor! what are you doing? Don't you know whom that cow belongs to?"

"Yes, of course I do," replied the farmer, roughly. "But I've taken a fancy to the cow, and mean to keep her. You can tell your father that, if you like, and say that if he wants her he can come and fetch her."

"Father! father!" cried the boy, turning round, "Neighbor Frieshardt has taken our cow away. Come and get her back."

Obeying his son's call, Toni Hirzel hastened out of the cottage just in time to see his neighbor locking the byre upon Liesli, the only cow he possessed. "Oho, my friend," he exclaimed, "what is the meaning of this?"

"Don't you understand, Hirzel?" replied his neighbor, in a mocking and sarcastic tone. "Recollect what you promised me the other day. You have been owing me forty francs since last winter, and said you would pay me yesterday. But as you have forgotten it, I have taken your cow, and mean to keep her till I get the money back."

Toni Hirzel frowned and bit his lips. "You know very well," said he, "that I have not been able to pay my small debt. My poor wife's illness and funeral cost me a great deal of money; but you know quite well that I am an honest man, and that there is no need for you to behave in such an unkind and unfriendly way toward me. It is not neighborly, Frieshardt."

"Neighborly nonsense!" replied the farmer. "The cow belongs to me until you pay the money."

With these words he turned on his heel and went into his house, the size and general appearance of which bespoke the comfort, if not the luxury, of its owner. With a sad and anxious expression Toni Hirzel followed him with his eye.

"But, father," said the youth, in surprise and anger, "do you mean quietly to put up with that? I wouldn't suffer it, if I were you."

"Hush, hush, my boy!" replied his father quietly. "It is certainly not very kind of Frieshardt to treat a poor neighbor in such a harsh way; but he has the law on his side, for I can't deny that I owe him the money. I should have paid him long ago if it had been possible, but your poor mother's illness and death prevented me. We must have patience. I dare say my cousin will lend me the forty francs if I ask him, and then we shall get our cow back again. Don't be afraid, Watty. You shall see Liesli feeding in the meadow again to-morrow."

"Yes, that she shall, father," said the boy, in a decided tone. "She shall be brought back whether you get the money or not. Frieshardt shall give her up to-day, and be thoroughly ashamed into the bargain for his hard-heartedness. He has got forty cows on the hills, and yet robs a poor neighbor of the only one he has got. What harm have we done him, that he should treat us in such a way?"

"I will tell you, Watty, for you are now growing tall and sensible, so that one can talk to you," replied his father. "He has envied me the possession of Liesli for a long time, for she is the best cow in the whole neighborhood; and he offered me two hundred francs for her last autumn. As I wouldn't sell her, he has seized her now, thinking that I can't pay him the money he has lent me. If I were to go to law with him, the cow would be valued, and he would only pay me what she is worth over and above the debt. That is his calculation. But I hope he will soon find that he has made a great mistake."

"Yes, I hope he will, father," said the boy. "Go over to Grindelwald quietly, but don't be annoyed if you can't borrow the money. I tell you that I will get the cow back this very day; and you know, father, that when I say so I mean it."

"I hope you haven't got any foolish plans in your head, Watty," said his father. "It is of no use trying force against our neighbor, for he is to a certain extent in the right."

"I am not thinking of using force," said the boy. "Leave the matter to me, and go quietly on your journey. I know perfectly well what I am going to do, and you may be certain that it is nothing wrong."

The tall and ruddy youth looked at his father with such a steady and open expression that all his fears were silenced. "Well, you are no longer a child, Walter," said he. "You were sixteen last May, and ought to have come to years of discretion. But I should very much like to know what plan you have got in your head. Won't you tell me, boy?"

"You shall hear to-night, after you come back, father," replied Walter, smiling. "But I assure you again that there is nothing wrong or wicked in it, and give you my hand upon it."

"Well, then, do whatever you have a mind to," said his father. "I must not lose any more time, or it will be too late before I get back. Farewell, my boy, and see that you don't play any roguish tricks."

With these words the peasant took his alpenstock, as the long iron-pointed stick is named which is used for crossing the ice-fields, and set forth.

"Good-by, my dear father," said the boy, gazing after him until a turn in the road hid him from view. "It is better that you should go away quietly and without anxiety. If I had told you what I am going to do, you would have been vexed and nervous, and have tried to turn me from it. But now I shall have nothing to hinder me, and I can set to work in earnest. I will milk the goats first, though, that the poor animals may not suffer till I get back."

Obedient to his loud call, the goats came frisking along; and after having relieved them of their milk, Walter drank some, ate a little black bread to it, and then put the rest of the milk in a flat pan, which he set carefully in the cool cellar. When the goats had returned to the hills, and were clambering from crag to crag in search of grass and herbage, Walter slung a light hunting bag across his shoulder, stuck a small axe with a short handle into his belt, and a knife into his pocket, filled a bottle with goat's milk, and then cut off a large hunch of bread and placed it with the bottle in his bag. He then selected a stout alpenstock and tried it carefully, to see if the iron point was sharp and strong. When these preparations were made, he looked for a piece of thin strong cord, such as the chamois-hunters take with them on their dangerous Alpine journeys, put it into his bag beside the bread and milk, and quitted the cottage, the door of which he bolted on the outside.

The cottage was about half an hour's walk from the inn on the road from Meyringen to Grindelwald, and thither the stout-hearted youth turned his steps. The sun was still low in the east when he arrived, for it was early in the morning; but a number of horses and mules stood at the door of the inn waiting for their riders. Several guides were loitering about, ready to conduct travellers either to the steep heights lying above the village, down to the beautiful water-falls of the Reichenbach, or to the village of Meyringen.

"Well, Watty Hirzel," said one of the guides in answer to the boy's salute, "I suppose you want to earn a couple of francs to-day, as you have come armed with alpenstock and game bag? You couldn't have chosen a better day. Every room in the inn is full, and you will easily get somebody to take to the glaciers or anywhere else."

"No, no, Mohrle," replied the boy; "I haven't come to take your trade away from you; I only want to speak to Mr. Seymour, the gentleman from Scotland who has been staying here for about a month. He hasn't left yet, I hope?"

"No; there he is at the window," said the guide. "But you won't be able to earn anything from him, for he knows all the roads of the Oberland as well as any of us. What do you want to speak to him about?"

"You will find that out in the evening, perhaps, when you come back," replied Walter. "It is a secret at present."

"Aha! I understand. You have discovered the track of a chamois, and are going to take the gentleman to see if he can get a shot at it. He seems quite mad upon hunting, and I dare say you will get a five-franc piece if you help him."

"Very likely, Mohrle," replied the youth, with a laugh; and then bowed to the gentleman, who stood at a window of the inn surveying the lively scene below. Opening the window, he beckoned to the boy, who bowed again, and went into the house.

"He is a sharp boy," said the guide to one of his companions. "There are not many lads in the Oberland who are as bold and active in climbing as he is. And no one can beat him for deer-stalking. But it's no wonder, for Toni Hirzel, his father, is the best chamois-hunter in this part of the country."

"Yes, he is a brave fellow," was the reply. "I know his father well. There isn't a cleverer sportsman in the mountains; but it's a dangerous life, and I shouldn't like to change places with him. It is much more comfortable to show strangers the sights; there is less peril and a great deal more profit in it."

"And yet I would wager anything that Toni wouldn't change places with us," replied the first speaker. "He told me only a week ago that it was impossible to give up the hunting life. 'My father and grandfather both lost their lives by it,' said he, 'and I know I sha'n't fare any better; but whenever I see the track of a chamois, I must be off after it.' That is the way with all your chamois-hunters."

"Well, may God long preserve him from such an awful death!" said the other. "But there comes our party. Look after your horse, Mohrle."

The conversation was thus abruptly cut short. The ladies and gentlemen mounted the animals that were waiting for them, and in a few minutes the space in front of the inn was cleared of the busy throng.

"Now, then," said the young Scotchman, whose attention had been occupied with the company which had just left, and who now turned to Walter. "Has your father discovered some new tracks, and sent you to tell me?"

"No, Sir. I have come to ask you if you were in earnest the other day, and if you really wish to have a vulture's brood."

"A vulture's brood, boy?" inquired the Scotchman, with eager and sparkling eyes. "Have you discovered one?"

"Yes, Sir," replied the youth. "I have clambered up among the wild ravines of the Engelhorn for several days, and yesterday I descried a spot where I am pretty certain there is an eyrie. If so, the young birds must be well fledged already; so it won't do to lose much time in getting them."

"Well, go and fetch them, then," exclaimed the gentleman, hastily. "I have set my mind upon having a couple of young vultures."

"And you shall have them, if Heaven preserves my feet from slipping and my hand from trembling," said the boy. "But I must first know what you are willing to give me for the birds."

"I have already told you that you shall have thirty francs if you bring them here alive."

Walter shook his head. "That is not enough, Sir," he replied. "I can't do it for that. I must have forty francs."

A smile almost of contempt passed over the lips of Mr. Seymour. "So young, and already so greedy!" said he. "Begone! I hate avarice, and will rather lose the birds than be cheated in such a way."

Walter blushed deeply. His feelings were so wounded by these words that his heart swelled as if it would burst, and his eyes filled with tears. But with a vigorous effort he controlled himself, and gave a quiet answer. "It is not greed or avarice that makes me ask for more money. You condemn me unjustly, Sir."

"What else, then, can it be?" inquired Mr. Seymour, angrily.

In a few simple words Walter described the harsh conduct of the neighbor who had taken away his father's cow for a debt of forty francs, and said that he had hoped the stranger would readily give the trifling sum of ten francs more if he only knew how dangerous it was to attempt the vulture's eyrie. While he spoke, the angry look gradually disappeared from the traveller's face, and he smiled with friendliness and goodwill upon the boy.

"And you will expose yourself to this danger to serve your father?" he inquired.

"Yes, Sir; I have made up my mind to do so."

"But is it so very dangerous to get at the nest?"

"So dangerous that I couldn't make up my mind to it yesterday," replied Walter. "It is built on one of the steepest crags of the Engelhorn, and can only be reached by a very narrow ridge of rock with dreadful precipices on both sides."

"And you are going to risk your life to help your father to pay the money he owes?"

"Yes; and I am not afraid, if I can only be sure of the reward."

"Well, then, that alters my opinion. Bring me the young vultures, and the forty francs are yours."

Walter warmly thanked the liberal stranger for his generosity, and was about to leave the room; but, surprised at the boy's courage, and perhaps alarmed at the idea of exposing him to such frightful peril, Mr. Seymour called him back.

"I have changed my mind," said he: "I really have no use for the birds, at least not at present, and I dare say you will be able to discover another nest that can be got at without so much danger; and to tell you the truth, I don't care about having such young ones. Go quietly home, my boy. But why do you look so sorrowful and alarmed? Oh, I see: you are afraid of losing the money. No, no; I didn't mean that. Take these two gold coins—they are a present from me—that will just make up the sum that your father wants."

Walter stood as if thunder-struck, unable to understand such generosity, and thought the stranger was joking with him in giving such a large sum for nothing.

"Take it, my boy—take it," said Mr. Seymour, smiling. "Your father must and shall be assisted in his difficulty, for he must be a good man to have such a brave and affectionate son. But the life of a human being can't be risked for the sake of a couple of stupid birds."

In surprise and confusion Walter took the money, expressed his thankfulness in a few mumbled words, and shuffled out of the room. When he reached the open air, he recovered his self-possession to some extent, and holding the gold coins fast in one hand, threw his cap up in the air with the other, uttered a loud shout of joy, and bounded homeward again at the top of his speed. Having reached the cottage, he put the money in a corner of the cupboard in which his father kept his small stock of cash, locked the door, and put the key in a place of safety, and then left the cottage again.

"Now everything is in first-rate order," said he to himself. "Father will be sure to find the money when he comes back, and I shall have plenty of time to see how the vulture's nest is to be got at. Mr. Seymour shall have the birds, no matter what trouble and danger it may cost me. He shall soon see that I am neither selfish nor unthankful to him for his generosity."


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"I can Swim, Sir."—During a terrible naval battle between the English and the Dutch, the English flag-ship, commanded by Admiral Narborough, was drawn into the thickest of the fight. Two masts were soon shot away, and the mainmast fell with a fearful crash upon the deck. Admiral Narborough saw that all was lost unless he could bring up his ships from the right. Hastily scrawling an order, he called for volunteers to swim across the boiling water, under the hail of shot and shell. A dozen sailors at once offered their services, and among them a cabin-boy. "Why," said the admiral, "what can you do, my fearless lad?" "I can swim, Sir," the boy replied; "if I be shot, I can be easier spared than any one else." Narborough hesitated; his men were few, and his position desperate. The boy plunged into the sea, amid the cheers of the sailors, and was soon lost to sight. The battle raged fiercer, and, as the time went on, defeat seemed inevitable. But, just as hope was fading, a thundering cannonade was heard from the right, and the reserves were seen bearing down upon the enemy. By sunset the Dutch fleet was scattered far and wide, and the cabin-boy, the hero of the hour, was called in to receive the honor due to him. His bearing so won the heart of the old admiral that he exclaimed, "I shall live to see you have a flag-ship of your own." The prediction was fulfilled when the cabin-boy, having become Admiral Cloudesley Shovel, was knighted by the king.


There was a young, rich, and beautiful lady who was about to be married to a lord. A day or two before the wedding the lord brought his friend, a gallant and handsome young farmer, to see the lady of his choice. The lady fell in love at first sight with the farmer, and ere they parted, the farmer was as deep in love with her.

When the morning of the wedding had come, the lady, love-sick for the young farmer, instead of betaking herself to the kirk to be married, took to her bed, and the wedding was put off. Nevertheless, in the afternoon, she disguised her face, and dressing herself in manly apparel, went with cross-bow on her shoulder, and with her dogs at her heels, to hunt on the grounds of the young farmer, which were part of her own estate.

She crossed and recrossed the fields, whistled and hallooed to her dogs, without meeting the farmer. As she was beginning to fear that he was absent, and was about to withdraw, she met him coming up the road.

She professed to be surprised to see him, as she understood he was to be at the wedding to give away the bride to the lord.

"Ah!" said the young farmer, with a sigh, "I would she were as poor as myself, that I might ask her to give herself to me."

"Are you, then, in love with the promised bride of the young lord your friend? How would you answer to him, should the lady favor your hopes?" said she.

"With sword and axe I would give him a meeting, and let the best man win."

At parting, the lady drew from her pocket a glove embroidered with gold, and said to the farmer, "Here is a glove I picked up on the way thither; as I am a stranger here, I will leave it with you in order that you may find the owner."

Next day she sent out the crier to say that she had lost a glove embroidered with gold, and that she would take the man who found it for her husband, if the man were willing.

The young farmer heard the proclamation, and, half wild with joy, and half doubting his good fortune, took his way to the house of the lady. He presented the glove, and modestly reminded her of the reward promised to the finder, and although that reward was far above his hopes, it was what his heart most ardently desired.

Before he left her, she confirmed the promise of the crier, and agreed to take him for her husband. The report was soon spread abroad, and coming to the young lord's ears, he demanded that the farmer should resign his claim to the lady, or else meet him in single combat.

The farmer answered that he would never resign the lady while there was breath in his body, but that he would meet the young lord when and where he pleased, and with whatever weapons he liked to choose.

Swords and bucklers being chosen, on the day appointed for the fight the lord and the farmer, accompanied by their seconds, or shield-bearers, and their friends, met to settle their difference. With the assistance of their shields the combatants warded off each other's blows for some time, but at last the farmer clove his adversary's shield in twain, and following up his advantage, brought the young lord to his knees by a blow on his helmet.

Then putting his sword to his throat, he made the young lord resign all claim to the lady, and beg his own life.

Soon the handsome young farmer and the rich and beautiful lady were married, and after a time she told him of her device of the glove, and how the game that she hunted that day with her dogs and her cross-bow was the young farmer himself. Both agreed that for the hunter and the hunted that hunting was the happiest that had ever been undertaken in Thule.

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Nature's Barometers.—Certain movements on the part of the animal creation before a change of weather appear to indicate a reasoning faculty. Such seems to be the case with the common garden spider, which, on the approach of rainy or windy weather, will be found to shorten and strengthen the guys of his web, lengthening the same when the storm is over. There is a popular superstition that it is unlucky for an angler to meet a single magpie, but two of the birds together are a good omen. The reason is that the birds foretell the coming of cold or stormy weather, and at such times, instead of searching for food for their young in pairs, one will always remain on the nest. Sea-gulls predict storms by assembling on the land, as they know that the rain will bring earth-worms and larvae to the surface. This, however, is merely a search for food, and is due to the same instinct which teaches the swallow to fly high in fine weather, and skim along the ground when foul is coming. They simply follow the flies and gnats, which remain in the warm strata of the air. The different tribes of wading birds always migrate before rain, likewise to hunt for food. Many birds foretell rain by warning cries and uneasy actions, and swine will carry hay and straw to hiding-places, oxen will lick themselves the wrong way of the hair, sheep will bleat and skip about, hogs turned out in the woods will come grunting and squealing, colts will rub their backs against the ground, crows will gather in crowds, crickets will sing more loudly, flies come into the house, frogs croak and change color to a dingier hue, dogs eat grass, and rooks soar like hawks. It is probable that many of these actions are due to actual uneasiness, similar to that which all who are troubled with corns or rheumatism experience before a storm, and are caused both by the variation in barometric pressure and the changes in the electrical condition of the atmosphere.

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Slain by her Defender.—During King William's wars on the Continent, soon after the Revolution, it was usual, at the end of the campaign, for both armies to retire into winter-quarters, and numbers got leave of absence to go home and see their friends. Among others who availed themselves of this privilege was a young Highland officer, whose relations lived in the upper parts of Perthshire. He visited about in that district, and entertained his friends by talking of the battles in which he had fought, and the wonderful events he had witnessed; and he everywhere met with the most cordial reception. He was at last invited to the house of a gentleman who had an only daughter, whose beauty was the universal theme of admiration. He there, as usual, recited his martial feats, till, like Othello, he made an impression on the young lady, which the gallant soldier soon perceived, and he contrived to settle a plan with her for their eloping together at midnight. They got off unperceived, and having travelled several miles, they at last came to an inn, where they thought they might refresh themselves in safety. The enraged father, however, as soon as he had discovered his daughter's flight, assembled men, and pursued the fugitives with such speed and eagerness that he overtook them soon after they got into the inn. The lover, though he had nobody to support him, yet was determined not to yield up his mistress, and being well armed, and an excellent swordsman, he resolved to resist any attack made upon him. When the party pursuing entered the inn, his mistress ran for protection behind him; but as he was preparing to give a deadly stroke, the point of the sword accidently struck her a violent blow, and she instantly expired at his feet. Upon seeing what had happened, he immediately surrendered himself, saying he did not wish to live, his earthly pleasure being gone. He was executed the next day, but we fail to perceive on what ground, either of justice or of humanity.


By An Old Boy.

Before I had been long at Mr. Gray's boarding-school, to which I was sent when I was a very young boy, and which was very different from such schools as St. Paul's, I heard of a mysterious and horrible place called, as the boys said, the Preay Chamber. We supposed it to be a gloomy and awful dungeon, but nobody knew just where it was, and nobody pretended that he had ever been imprisoned in it. The truth was that it was thought to be a punishment so dreadful that whenever a boy was sentenced to the chamber of torture, good, motherly Mrs. Gray, whom we all loved, always interceded for the culprit. Good woman, how we did bless her!

I am an old boy now, but all younger boys will understand how easy it was for me one evening when we were all marching out from tea, and I passed close by the table with the open sugar bowl upon it, to raise my hand quietly, without stopping or looking, seize a lump of sugar, and let my hand drop again.

"Joe!" instantly shouted Mr. Gray, who sat in his chair watching us as we filed out.

"Yes, Sir."

"Come here, Joe, and all the boys remain."

I was a little fellow of seven years old, and I pity my poor little self as I look back upon that moment. I advanced to the master's chair, and stood before him in the presence of the school, with my guilty right hand closed at my side. There was awful silence as the master said,

"Joe, what have you in your hand?"

"Nothing, Sir."

"Joe, hold out your right hand."

I held it out.

"Now, Joe, you say that there is nothing in your hand?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Open your hand, Joe."

I opened it, and the lump of sugar dropped to the floor.

It was the first lie I had ever told, and my terror and shame were such that the recollection has been a kind of good angel to me ever since. The master said a few solemn words, the justice of which my poor little heart could not deny, although he had exposed me to a cruel ordeal; and then, with an air like that of a Lord Chief Justice putting on the black cap to sentence a murderer to death, he concluded: "Joe, you must be severely punished. Go to Mrs. Gray, and tell her that you are to go to the Preay Chamber."

There was a silent shudder of sympathy among the boys as I departed; and finding Mrs. Gray, I told her, with sobs of terror, my doom. The good woman listened kindly; and then, with the tenderness of a mother, she pointed out to me the meanness of the theft and of the falsehood, and we both sat and cried together. Then she said, "Joe, I am sure that you see that you have done wrong, and that you are very sorry, and don't mean to do so any more."

I was utterly broken down, and sobbed in a kind of hysterical paroxysm.

"Now, Joe, go back to Mr. Gray, tell him that we have been talking together, and that you are truly sorry, and will try to do better, and that this time, and for my sake, I hope that you may be let off from the Preay Chamber."

I went back, and with tears and catchings of the breath I repeated the message. Mr. Gray listened; and when I had done, he said:

"Joe, you are a very naughty boy; but as you say that you are sorry, and will try to mend, and as dear Mrs. Gray intercedes for you, you need not go this time to the Preay Chamber. But remember, it is only for this time."

I was like a victim suddenly released from the stake, and the narrow escape I had had from the mysterious chamber of doom made that dungeon still more awful. There were very few sentences to the chamber afterward, and gradually its name disappeared from our talk and from our fear. Now and then some boy asked, "What has become of the Preay Chamber?" But nobody answered. If an older boy asked Mr. or Mrs. Gray, they only smiled, and said nothing. The terror gradually died away, and the chamber of horrors became a mere legend. Long afterward it was known that it was all a kindly but deceitful understanding between Mr. and Mrs. Gray. If a young boy did wrong, and it was thought that reproof and the mere dread of punishment would be penalty severe enough, it was agreed that Mr. Gray would send the offender to Mrs. Gray to be immured in the Preay Chamber. That message was a hint to her to beg—or, in the French language, prier—that for this once the culprit, upon his promise to do better, should be pardoned.

There is no doubt that the fear of the chamber exercised some restraint upon mischievous boys. But it was a kind of deceit which is in itself mischievous. The very name still haunts my imagination, although I am a bald-headed old boy, for what the most secret chamber of the Inquisition was to the timid heretic, the Preay Chamber was to the little boy I used to be.


The children were thinking of something very important. Anybody could see that. Papa and mamma wondered why they were so serious and silent at the breakfast table, and mamma was astonished when Carrie, and even little Hope, begged to walk part of the way to school with Louis, because they had never thought of doing such a thing before. Louis was a bright-faced, rosy-cheeked boy of ten years, Carrie was eight, and little Hope was only six. Mamma was always very kind to her little folks, and as the morning was sunny, she said they might go if they would put on their heavy shoes and their cloaks and hoods, for there was a white crisp frost all over the grass. Mamma watched them with pride as they scampered down the garden path leading from the front piazza to the street, but had she heard their conversation she might have staid at home from the party she was going to that evening, and put a veto on their grand plan.

"Now, Louis," said Carrie, as soon as they were away from the house, "you know you promised to sit up with Hope and me to-night and listen, because nurse says at midnight all birds and beasts talk so children can understand every word; and papa and mamma are going to a party, and they won't come home until ever so late."

"Nonsense!" said Louis, who felt very much wiser than Carrie, she being to his mind "only a girl;" "I don't believe nurse's story. I can always understand what Fritz says, and I say he can not bow-wow any plainer than he did this morning when he bid me good-by."

"Yes, he can," persisted Carrie. "Nurse says so, and she knows, for her grandfather told her all about it when she was a little bit of a girl, and he was a real old, old man. If people believed it so many years ago, it must be true."

Louis's confidence in his own wisdom was somewhat weakened by the thought of nurse's grandfather, but, boy-like, he only began to sing tauntingly:

"Into woods where beasts can talk, I went out to take a walk."

"I'm going to stay awake anyway, and talk to my kitty," said little Hope, "because I know what nurse said is true. I saw my kitty laugh when she heard nurse say it." Carrie was silent. She walked at Louis's side, kicking the pebbles of the gravelled path with her feet.

"Oh, if you girls are going to make such a fuss about it, I'll sit up with you," said Louis; "and if nurse's grandfather said so," he added, hesitatingly, "perhaps it is true, after all. He was a very old man, and he must have known."

"Of course he knew," said Carrie, "for nurse said he had a cow, a red and white one, that told him lots of things every year on this very night."

After the mention of the red and white cow, Louis made no more opposition, and the children soon separated, Louis to spend the day in school while Carrie and Hope scampered home, said their lessons to mamma, and then went to play with Fritz, the big dog, Bess, the white kitty, Lorito, a large gray parrot, and the new canary which papa had bought only the day before.

When evening came papa and mamma went to the party, and nurse, who had forgotten all about her grandfather and the red and white cow, wondered why the children went to bed so willingly, for they were sometimes very willful, and made nurse a great deal of trouble when she undressed them. She was very glad they were good to-night, because, as "missis" was away, she had made up her mind to go to a party herself, the house-maid having promised to run up to the nursery if she heard the children calling. There was little danger, however, that they would call for a drink of water or anything else that night, for as they were not in the least sure of nurse's sympathy in their midnight vigil, they had agreed to go to bed as quiet as mice and watch their chance of slipping unobserved to the library, where their pets spent the night. Long after nurse had gone down stairs, and when the house was very, very still, Carrie sat up in bed and gently called her brother, who slept in a little room of his own adjoining the nursery.

"Louis! Louis!" she said.

"Oh, don't bother," answered Louis. "It won't be midnight for ever so long."

"But if we stay in bed we shall go to sleep. Hope is half asleep now."

"No, I'm not sleepy," said little Hope, "and I'm going to get my kitty and go right down to the library this very minute." She rolled out of bed, and went to the basket in the corner where kitty was fast asleep, and bundled her up in her little fat arms.

The children all started to creep down stairs, but they shrank back a little from the dimly lighted hall below, which somehow did not look a bit as it did in the daytime. "Come on," said Louis, who felt very grand as the protector of his sisters; "I've brought my new bow and arrow, and if there is a villain there, you'll see how quick I'll lay him out. I'm not afraid, anyway, where Fritz is," he added, half to himself. They marched along very softly, their little bare feet sinking into the soft velvet carpet. Louis went boldly ahead with his bow and arrow. Carrie followed, her jet-black hair streaming down over her white night dress, and little Hope came close behind, hugging her white kitty, who winked in astonishment at this strange proceeding. When they reached the library, Fritz, who was stretched on the Turkish rug before the grate, in which a piece of English coal was burning slowly, rose to his feet, amazed at the unusual sight; but he was too lazy for a frolic at that hour, and after a soft "wuf-wuf" he lay down and went to sleep again. The library was dimly lighted, and wore an air of wonder and mystery to the now excited children. Rique, the canary, was curled into a little round yellow ball, and paid no attention to his visitors. Lorito, who was perched in a big gilded cage in the corner, had his beak buried in his feathers and his eyes shut fast. He opened his eyes, however, when the children came near, and put down his head to be rubbed, but after a few sleepy grunts he said, "Poor Lorito, poor Lorito," and shut his eyes again. Evidently the children's pets had no inclination to be sociable just at present. Just then the ormolu clock on the mantel-piece struck ten.

"We shall have to wait ever so long," said Louis, "because they won't talk till midnight. Let's lie down on the rug with Fritz."

So the three children cuddled close to the big dog and waited. Louis pulled mamma's blue and red afghan from the lounge, and after tucking it carefully over his little sisters, crawled under it himself, and—

"Bow-wow," said Fritz. "Who's got a story to tell, I wonder? I'm not going to tell one, that's very certain, for I scratched my throat this morning with a chicken bone."

"Mew-mew," said the white kitty. "I've done lots of work to-day. I unwound a big ball of green worsted for my little mistress, and I'm tired. Let somebody else do the talking."

"Peep," said the canary. "I'm a stranger; I only arrived yesterday, and I ought to be entertained. Some other time I will tell you all my adventures, but to-night I prefer to listen. I would like to hear from that gray-coated gentleman over there in the corner, for as he is a very distant relation of mine, both of us belonging to the great bird family, I would, I am sure, take great interest in his history."

"Lorito, you will have to do all the talking to-night," said Fritz and the white kitty both at once. "Tell our new friend Rique all the wonderful things you have seen, and all the strange adventures you have been through."

Thus entreated, the gray parrot, after flapping his wings several times, in a lazy manner, began to tell his history.

"I will begin my story," said the gray parrot, "with the good old times when my grandfather and grandmother lived in the hollow of a giant tree which grew in the valley of the Congo, whose broad waters flow downward through the wildernesses of Southern Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. My grandfather belonged to a very large family, which was increasing rapidly; indeed, the gray parrots of Africa, with their magnificent crimson tails, are the chief glory of the country. The children of my grandfather were very numerous, and no father was kinder or more skillful than he in providing them with an independent establishment, for he believed that young people should always set up housekeeping for themselves as soon as possible. As soon, therefore, as my father was old enough to be married, and grandpa saw that he had already selected a pretty wife, he immediately found him a convenient hollow tree on the very shore of our beautiful river, which he showed to papa and mamma, saying, 'My children, here is a fine place for your housekeeping; make your nest at once.' Papa and mamma were a very affectionate couple, and they aided each other in the work of nest-building. Papa brought the materials—moss, twigs, and soft grasses—and mamma arranged them artistically in the interior of the hollow tree, making a pretty and comfortable apartment. The nest was soon complete, and housekeeping began. Papa and mamma were not a moment too soon in their preparations, for no sooner was the nest constructed than it contained three eggs. Beautiful little eggs they were, papa has often told me, and mamma never contradicted him. I was in one of those three eggs. My brother and my sister were in the other two. Mamma kept us warm with the greatest care, while papa brought her food like a good husband, always choosing the particular fruits and other delicacies she preferred. As this attention allowed her to brood us constantly under her warm wings, we soon became ambitious to escape from our shells. One beautiful morning, to the great delight of my parents, I burst the delicate prison walls which confined me. My brother and sister made their appearance in the world a day later."



The parson's boys were very fond of astronomy. They knew the chief constellations, and kept the place of the planets as they moved along among the stars. When their father told them how splendidly the moon and the planets look through a telescope, they were sadly disappointed to learn that a telescope costs so much money that he could not think of buying even one of the smallest size. Happening to hint that perhaps one might be made at home at small expense which would show the moon in new light and bring Jupiter's moons to sight, they gave him no rest till he had agreed that he would "see about it."

A few days afterward he showed the boys two common tin tubes which the stove man had just made. One was about one inch and a half in diameter, and about thirty inches long; the other was about twelve inches long, and just enough smaller to slip inside the first, and move easily out and in. The inside of both was painted black, so that there would be no reflecting of light inside. It is better—he told the boys—to paint the inside, if possible, after the tube is made, because the rolling and pounding in shaping and soldering the tube are likely to make the paint crack off. Then he took out of his pocket a paper, and unrolled a round spectacle glass, just big enough to slip into the end of the larger tube. "What's that?" the children exclaimed, all at once. "This is the object-glass of our telescope," was the answer. "The light from the object comes through this into the tube. It is a thirty-six-inch glass; that is, it brings the rays together at a distance of thirty-six inches." Frank held it up to the sun, which was getting low, and when the rays began to burn his hand, Walter brought the yard-stick, and it was just about thirty-six inches from the glass to the spot on his hand where he felt the heat. That was the focus of the glass. While the boys were wondering how the object-glass was to be fastened into the tube, the parson was already doing it. He had the tinman cut slits in the end about an eighth of an inch wide and almost twice as deep. Every other one of these he doubled back inside the tube, and pressed down with pincers, so that there should be nothing sticking out in the way of the moon and stars if they should try to get in. These made a rest for the glass, so that it couldn't slip into the tube. Then he bent the other slits down over the edge of the glass, but not so as to shut out any light, and these slits held the glass firmly.

The boys, of course, now wished to see whether the steeple of the church looked any bigger through this tube and object-glass. They couldn't see it so well as with the naked eye, and feared the new telescope was a failure. But their father told them it was too soon yet to vote on that question. He told Frank to hold out his hand, and see whether the sun would burn his hand through the glass and tube, as it did through the glass alone. It did. "Now," said he, "if you hold this tube up to Jupiter, at thirty-six inches from the glass there will be a very small image of him and his moons. If we could only see that image or picture through a microscope, we might see the moons as plainly as we see Jupiter himself with the naked eye."

"Why won't our microscope do?" asked Walter.

The parson said we couldn't get the image and the microscope together rightly; but while he was explaining, he was also unrolling another paper, out of which came a big bulging glass almost as round as a boy's eye. The edges of this had been ground down so that it would go into the end of the small tube, and it was fastened in just as the other was, only the slits needed to be a little longer, because the glass was thicker. This was a one-inch eyeglass; that is, it must be an inch from the object or image at which you are looking. He then cut in a piece of paper a round hole about as big as a shirt button, and pasted this over the eyeglass, and covered the end of the tube around, so that no light could come in there except through this small opening in the paper, which was so put on that the eye must look through the middle of the glass. He also pasted some strips of brown paper around the other end of the telescope, jutting over the object-glass just enough to keep it from breaking, and to prevent any light from coming through the edges, but not letting the paper touch this glass, as it did the eyeglass. The object-glass wants all the light it can get.

The boys had the first look; but they could see nothing, though the woods to which the glass was turned were yet visible.

"What's the focus of the glasses?" asked the parson.

"Thirty-six inches and one inch," was the correct answer.

The boys marked where the thirty-six inches ended, measuring from the object-glass. They then brought the eyeglass up to within about an inch of that, and looked through it again.

"Oh-oh-oo!" exclaimed Frank: "I see the trees so near that I can get hold of them, but they're bottom side up!"

"Yes," said their father, "but that will make little difference when looking at Jupiter or the moon."

They all had to wait what seemed a long time for the darkness to come, and let the stars appear. When the parson returned from the post-office after tea, he said it would be impossible to hold the tube in the hands steadily enough to see the planets plainly. So he found a strip of board about a foot long and two or three inches wide, which was hollowed out on one side. Into this hollow he fixed the tube by common tacks and small wire. Then through the middle of this strip he bored a large gimlet hole, and put in a long screw, and went to the workshop in the basement to make a standard into which to screw the strip which held the tube. He couldn't find nor make just what he wanted soon enough—the boys said that "Jupiter had just come out clear"—and so he caught the first box he could lay hold of, and screwed the tube upon one of its sides, just tight enough to hold it snug, yet let it move up or down. Then he called for a light stand, and case knives to make it and the box stand perfectly still. He took his place on the portico, got everything ready, and said he was "afraid to look for fear the boys would be disappointed." Frank said he "would like to look," and so, as he had been the most anxious to have the telescope made, his father gave him the first chance to be glad or sorry. After moving the box and the tube a little all kept silent, but soon Frank began a louder "Oo-oo-oo!" than before, and, much excited, exclaimed: "I see 'em: four red bright little fellows, all in a straight line," and then he ran as if half crazy, shouting, to his mother: "We got 'em, mother, all four of 'em! I wouldn't swap our telescope for any other. Come and see!"

The parson too was much delighted. As he happened to look at the other side of the box, he was amused to find that he had mounted his telescope on a "Eureka Soap" box. In a few days he made an upright standard, into which he bolted the telescope just tight enough to hold it, but let it move freely. A common screw becomes too loose in a little while. The instrument cost the parson only forty cents for the tubes; the glasses were given, but ought not to cost more than a dollar or two. If a one-inch eyeglass can not be had, a two-inch eyeglass will answer quite well. The reason for having two tubes is that eyes differ, and that what is bought for a thirty-six inch glass may be an inch or two more or less than that, so that the smaller tube must be moved back and forth till the eye finds where the view is plainest. This instrument shows the moon beautifully. You read of the circular mountains and the extinct volcanoes; here you see them. It is especially delightful to see in the new moon the light breaking over the mountain-tops and through the notches while all the plain behind is yet in the dark. Though it is now a good while since the parson made the telescope, he waits impatiently every month for the new moon to come again.


There are few persons who have not been puzzled, when witnessing the exhibitions of conjurers and performers of feats of legerdemain, by the magic bottle, out of the neck of which the exhibitor can pour any one of quite a number of liquids at his will. It may interest the reader to see an explanation of the means by which the apparently magical effect is produced, especially as it involves an explanation of a certain philosophical principle which it is very useful for all to understand.

The pressure of the atmosphere all around us is so great that no liquid can issue against it from a close vessel, unless air is at the same time admitted to balance the external pressure by an internal one of the same amount. In the case of pouring water from a bottle the mouth of which is tolerably large, the air passes in in large bubbles as the water comes out, producing the gurgling sound always heard in such a case.

Where the orifice is too small to allow of the admission of these bubbles of air, the liquid will only flow out as fast as the air is allowed to enter in some other way, as shown in the engraving, where the water will not issue from the lower end of the tube except when the finger is raised from the upper end so as to admit the air.

There are various ingenious contrivances by means of which curious effects are produced through the operation of this principle. One, called the magic tunnel, is made double, with a space inclosed between the walls. There is an orifice communicating with this chamber at the top of the handle, which orifice is so situated that it can be opened or closed at pleasure by the thumb of the person holding it without attracting the attention of the spectator. Now if the body of the tunnel is filled, or partly filled, with pure water, while the hidden chamber contains a liquid deeply colored—with cochineal, for example—the person holding it can cause pure water to flow from it by keeping the orifice in the handle closed by his thumb, or colored water by simply raising his thumb and allowing the liquid in the concealed chamber to flow out and mingle with the clear water as it issues from the tube below.

The magic bottle acts on the same principle, though presenting it in another form. The bottle is usually made of tin, though colored on the outer surface to represent glass. Within, it contains several different receptacles, as shown in Fig. 1, each communicating by a separate pipe with the mouth of the bottle. Each of these receptacles is also provided with another tube, by which air may be admitted so as to allow the liquid contained in it to flow. These air tubes open by orifices in the side of the bottle, as shown in Fig. 2, which are covered and concealed by the thumb and the ends of the fingers of the operator, and may be kept closed or may be slightly opened at pleasure. By this means any one of five different liquids may be poured from the mouth of the bottle.

Of course it requires some dexterity to manipulate such an apparatus skillfully, in order to keep all the holes concealed from the spectators, and to open the right one, just enough to admit the air, and at the right time. The point of interest, however, for the general reader in the whole subject is the philosophical principle which is involved, namely, that the pressure of the atmosphere in every direction all around us is such that no liquid can issue from any orifice against the force of it acting from without inward, unless by the admission of air or the providing by some other means of an equal force to act from within outward as a counterpoise.


The Sultan awoke with a stifled scream: His nerves were shocked by a fearful dream:

An omen of terrible import and doubt— His teeth in one moment all fell out.

His wisemen assembled at break of day, And stood by the throne in solemn array.

And when the terrible dream was told, Each felt a shudder, his blood ran cold,

And all stood silent, in fear and dread, And wondering what was best to be said.

At length an old soothsayer, wrinkled and gray, Cried, "Pardon, my lord, what I have to say;

"'Tis an omen of sorrow sent from on high: Thou shalt see all thy kindred die."

Wroth was the Sultan; he gnashed his teeth, And his very words seemed to hiss and seethe,

As he ordered the Wiseman bound with chains, And gave him a hundred stripes for his pains.

The wisemen shook as the Sultan's eye Swept round to see who next would try;

But one of them, stepping before the throne, Exclaimed, in a loud and joyous tone:

"Exult, O head of a happy state! Rejoice, O heir of a glorious fate!

"For this is the favor thou shalt win, O Sultan—to outlive all thy kin!"

Pleased was the Sultan, and called a slave, And a hundred crowns to the wiseman gave.

But the courtiers they nod, with grave, sly winks, And each one whispers what each one thinks,

"Well can the Sultan reward and blame: Didn't both of the wisemen foretell the same?"

Quoth the crafty old Vizier, shaking his head, "So much may depend on the way a thing's said!"

To our Young Friends:

As we can not expect to receive letters from you until you have been notified of the existence of our Post-office Box, we open the correspondence by writing to you, and asking you to think of us in the future. We should like to hear from you upon any subject which may interest you. If you have any questions to ask regarding your studies or your reading, we shall take great pleasure in advising you; or should you desire any information which you can not obtain from books within your reach, we will do our best to aid you. We shall also be glad to hear about your sports, your pets, or about any curious thing in nature which may come under your observation.

You must bear in mind that your communications must be very brief, because there are so many of you that we can not give a great deal of space to any one. We will endeavor to be kind and attentive to each and all alike.

It is very easy in these times to send letters in Uncle Sam's big mail-bag; and when you write on your neat, delicate note-paper, and put the pretty postage-stamp on the right-hand corner of the envelope, perhaps you never think of the way your great-grandparents went to work when they wanted to send a letter. First they took a very large square sheet of coarse blue paper, or, if they were young ladies and fancy-minded, one with a bright tint of pink or yellow. As postage was high, when they had written the pages full, straight across, they would turn the sheet sideways, and write at right angles to the other lines, and then corner-wise, perhaps, with a different-colored ink. There were no envelopes in those days, and the sheets had to be ingeniously folded, so that no curious postmaster could pry into family secrets. There was always a portion of the last page left blank, to form the outside of the letter, which, after being folded and directed, was sealed with a big red wafer. It was then ready to be started off the next time the stage-coach came through the town, for there were no railroads in those days, and often the mail-bag was carried miles and miles on horseback through wild regions where now the steam-engine whirls along with its long train of cars.

It was not necessary in those days to prepay the postage, which was much dearer than it is now. There were no postage-stamps, and big figures were written or stamped on the outside of the letter to denote the cost of transportation. In those times it often took weeks to send a letter to places where now only a day is required.

Do any of you know the name of the man who first thought of the great benefit cheap postage would be to the world, and can you tell something about the great work he accomplished in that direction, and when and where he died?

Our Post-office Box is now open for your contributions, which we trust will be neatly and correctly written, because an editor's eyes have a great deal of important work to do, and ought not to be employed in deciphering illegible writing.

Trusting that our acquaintance may be pleasant and lasting, the editor bids you welcome to the pages of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.

A Boy who is not fond of fun and frolic may possibly make a tolerable man, but he is an intolerable boy.

* * * * *

An Irish lover remarked that it is a great pleasure to be alone, "especially whin yer swateheart is wid ye."

* * * * *

If a man's horses should lose their tails, why should he sell them wholesale?—Because he can't retail them.

* * * * *

"I'd just like to see you," said a blind man to a policeman who told him he would lock him up if he didn't move on.

* * * * *

A little girl of four years was recently called as a witness in a police court, and in answer to the question what became of little girls who told lies, innocently replied that they were sent to bed.

* * * * *

When a certain King of England visited Scotland, many years ago, the following conversation took place between two countrymen:

SANDY. "Weel, Jock, hae ye seen the king?"

JOCK. "Oh ay, I hae seen the king; but I wadna gang the length o' the street to see him again. He's just made like ony ither mon, an' they tell't me his arms were a lion an' a unicorn."

* * * * *

A QUANDARY.—If a boy should catch hold of your ear, and ask if he had the wrong pig by the ear, would you answer yes or no?

* * * * *

A MELANCHOLY CASE OF SUICIDE.—A naughty little boy, having been threatened with a whipping, immediately hung his head.

* * * * *

A little girl being asked by her grandfather where cotton grew, replied, with the greatest simplicity, "In old gentlemen's ears."

* * * * *

A man who lisped, having bought some pigs, asked a neighbor for the use of a pen for a few days. Said he: "I have jutht been purchathing thome thwine—two thowth and pigth. I want to put them in your pen till I can fix a plaith for them." "Two thousand pigs!" exclaimed the astonished neighbor; "why, my pen will hardly hold a dozen!" "You don't underthtand me, Mr. Bent. I don't thay two thouthand pigth, but two thowth and pigth!" "I hear you," said Mr. Bent; "two thousand pigs! Why, you must be crazy." "I tell you again," exclaimed the man, angrily, "I mean not two thouthand pigth, but two thowth and two pigth!" "Oh, that is what you mean, eh? Well, the pen is at your service."

* * * * *


First in long, but not in short; Second in hop, but not in malt; Third in Ellen, also in Anne; Fourth in wagon, not in van; Fifth in fun, but not in sport; Sixth in teach, but not in taught; Seventh in ale, but not in stout; Eighth in bawl, but not in shout; Ninth in mould, but not in sand; Tenth in water, but not in land. In these rhymes there may be found A living poet much renowned.

* * * * *

What is it that always has some hitch about it?—A harness.

Which is the most contemptuous bird?—The owl; he hoots at everything.


Pole-Leaping.—The pole which is used for this exercise should be of sound ash, rounded throughout its length, which should be in proportion to the height of the jumper and the space to be jumped over. It is advisable to practice this kind of jumping at first without a run. For this purpose he who is about to jump fixes the end of the pole in the ground in front of him, at a distance which may be gradually increased with the efforts of the jumper; then he seizes the pole with his two hands—the top one a little above his head, and the lower one a little above the level of his hips. He springs off equally with both feet, throwing most of his weight upon his arms, and pushing himself forward as far as possible by bearing on the pole, which he then slackens, and falls to the ground, trying to alight as softly as possible. If he fall on his heels, all the body receives a great shock; the brain strikes against the bones which surround it, which may often result in injuries to the head. If he fall too much on his toes, he may, perhaps, sprain them. It is necessary, then, to contrive so as to fall on the sole or ball of the foot, and only to let the heel touch the ground afterward.

In order to jump over a space with a run, he places himself at a certain distance from the space over which he is to leap, and after having seized the pole with his right hand a little above his head (the thumb in the air), and with his left hand a little above his thighs (the thumb downward), he starts forward, holding the lower end of the pole in front of him. Arrived at the edge of the ditch, or whatever it may be, over which he is to leap, he sticks the pole in the ground before him, then, by sudden and active effort, he raises his body, bearing his hands on the pole in such a manner as to turn it from the right-hand side to the left, and leaps the space, the body being nearly in a horizontal position; he then reaches the ground by bending the joints of the legs. He should at first practice at short distances.

Indian Clubs.—The exercises with the Indian clubs are of a more recent date than those with dumb-bells. They were introduced into Europe by a military officer, who had seen the Persians exercise with them. These exercises are performed alternately with the two hands, and sometimes simultaneously, with two instruments of a massive conical form, which in Persia are called nulo, and in India mugdaughs. They are very useful for increasing the muscular power of the arms and shoulders, opening the chest, and strengthening the hands and wrists. They have also the advantage of rendering the player with them ambidextrous, or two-handed; that is to say, of making the left hand as able and vigorous as the right, and enabling him to use one as readily as the other. As instruments of exercise they are as fitted for women and girls as for men and boys. Gracefully used, they give a good carriage and deportment, not always obtained by other means. Dumb-bell practice should precede the use of the Indian clubs. In beginning with the latter, take off your coat and cravat, loosen your braces and waistcoat, and put on a belt.

The most simple exercises with the Indian clubs consist in carrying them to the shoulder, sometimes with the right arm, sometimes with the left—in carrying the club before and behind, to the left and to the right. In the more difficult exercises you move the clubs alternately around the body, seizing them at first by the hand, and holding them parallel to the legs, the arms held down without stiffness, the clubs in a straight line with them. Then raise the right club, without the slightest jerk, in front and near to the body in the direction of the left shoulder, until the forearm passes the head, the club always remaining vertical. Then continue to pass the club behind the body, bringing it toward the right shoulder, and letting it gradually descend to the ground. The same movement is repeated with the left club, by commencing to raise it toward the right shoulder, and so on continually. Practice all the movements slowly; but when you have once familiarized yourself with the exercises you may execute them more quickly, always taking care that one club descends while the other ascends.



A brilliant serial story by GEORGE MACDONALD, with illustrations by ALFRED FREDERICKS, will shortly be begun in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.

Harper's Young People.

HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at the following rates:

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